Michigan’s Medicaid Estate Recovery Program

In light of Michigan’s relatively new Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, Medicaid recipients and their families should contact experienced legal counsel to help them plan ahead by implementing the tools that are currently available to avoid, or limit, Estate Recovery if possible.  Further, if you are the representative or heir of a deceased Medicaid recipient and you receive a Notice of Intent to File Claim Against Estate, you should contact experienced legal counsel for assistance: before completing a Michigan Estate Recovery Questionnaire, with the timing of submission of any Application for Hardship Waiver, and with determining whether all or any portion of the state’s claim for recovery should be disallowed.

Estate Recovery is the program through which the State of Michigan is paid back for Medicaid benefits provided to certain recipients upon the recipient’s death by allowing the state to “recover” property from the recipient’s “estate.”  Michigan’s Medicaid Estate Recovery law became effective on September 30, 2007, and the Michigan Medicaid Estate Recovery Program was approved by the federal government on May 23, 2011, with a retroactive effective date of July 1, 2010.

Estate Recovery is currently limited to assets that pass through probate.  Therefore, advance estate planning should be done in an effort to avoid probate.  Additionally, there are many limitations on what can be collected from a probate estate under Estate Recovery.

For more information, contact Melisa Mysliwiec at Fraser Trebilcock, 40 Pearl Street NW, Suite 910, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503, (616) 301-0800, or e-mail her at mmysliwiec@fraserlawfirm.com.

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